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Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

House Begins Impeachment Action - Rand Paul To Filibuster Debt Ceiling Bill - Sens. Challenging EPA Carbon Rules

Today in Washington, D.C. - Oct 28, 2015:

The House convened at 10 AM today.

Potential bill that may be considered today: H.R. 1314 - "To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide for a right to an administrative appeal relating to adverse determinations of tax-exempt status of certain organizations."

Yesterday, the House passed:
H.R. 1090 (245-186) — "To amend the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to provide protections for retail customers, and for other purposes."
H.R. 3819 (Voice Vote) — "To provide an extension of Federal-aid highway, highway safety, motor carrier safety, transit, and other programs funded out of the Highway Trust Fund, and for other purposes."
H.R. 597 — (313-118) "To reauthorize the Export-Import Bank of the United States, and for other purposes." Note 117 Republicans and one democrat voted against this bill.

Yesterday and today the Communications and Technology Subcommittee Convenes Hearing on “Breaking Down Barriers to Broadband Infrastructure Deployment." Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden said today, "Yesterday, this subcommittee met to discuss how the President’s policy on applying monopoly-era Title II regulations on high-speed networks has dampened private investment in broadband infrastructure. In light of this, I believe that it is more important than ever to do everything else we can to remove the uncertainties and delays that hinder the deployment of communications networks and the availability of broadband to all Americans. . . ."

Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton said, "We all know that robust infrastructure is the skeleton for a healthy economy. This is true for transportation, for energy, and unquestionably for communications, an industry where the pace of consumption is growing exponentially. . . . But we can’t build efficiently if we get in our own way. The government permitting process has stymied transportation networks, energy networks, and communications networks. . . ."

The Senate reconvened at 10 AM today.

Yesterday, the Senate voted 74-21 to pass S.754, the Cyber Security Information Sharing Act.

Prior to final passage, the Senate voted to reject amendments to the bill offered by Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Dean Heller (R-NV), Pat Leahy (D-VT), Al Franken (D-MN), Chris Coons (D-DE), and Tom Cotton (R-AR). Senators agreed by voice vote to adopt an amendment by Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and the Burr-Feinstein substitute amendment containing the amended text of the bill.

In the News:
House Republicans begin Impeachment against IRS Commissioner John Koskinen according to The Washington Times: "House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz began the impeachment process against IRS Commissioner John Koskinen on Tuesday, accusing him of misleading the public and destroying documents that were sought under a congressional subpoena. . . .

"Less than a week earlier, the Justice Department issued a report finding no criminal behavior in the decision by top IRS officials to subject conservative groups to intrusive scrutiny. . . .

"Among the specific charges leveled by Mr. Chaffetz and 18 of his fellow Republicans on the committee were that Mr. Koskinen, appointed by President Obama in December 2013 after the targeting scandal broke, misled Congress when he said he had turned over all of former IRS senior executive Lois G. Lerner’s emails and that he oversaw destruction of evidence when his agency got rid of backup tapes that contained the emails.

. . . "The impeachment resolution says the IRS knew as early as February 2014 that Ms. Lerner’s messages were missing as the result of a reported computer hard drive crash, but the agency didn’t notify Congress until June and the backup tapes were destroyed in March." . . .

Rand Paul will filibuster debt ceiling bill according to The Washington Post, "I will filibuster the new debt ceiling bill," Paul said at an event on the University of Colorado's Denver campus. "It is horrible, it's hard for me not to use profanity describing it. Paul also called the bill a "steaming pile of legislation," and urged fellow Republicans to join him."

Obama Carbon Rules / Tax
Reuters writes, “Nearly half of the U.S. Senate supports a resolution to challenge the Obama administration's regulation cutting carbon emissions from power plants, the core of the United States' broader climate change strategy, sponsors of the measure said on Tuesday.

“Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, backed a resolution introduced on Monday night by Republican Senator Shelley Moore Capito and Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp disapproving of the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan. Backers of the resolution said 49 senators in the 100-member chamber support it.

“Forty-seven senators backed a separate McConnell-sponsored resolution to challenge a related EPA rule that sets emissions standards for the construction of new coal-fired power plants.

“The resolutions filed under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) come as over 20 legal petitions were filed since Friday in a federal court seeking to block the EPA regulations by an array of industry groups and 26 states.

“‘It is time to send a clear signal that across-the-board regulations from Washington are not the best way forward,’ Capito said, adding that the regulation stifles economic growth and leads to job cuts in coal-dependent regions.

“A CRA lets Congress express its opposition to executive actions. It requires a simple majority, and if enacted would nullify the regulations.”

The Huffington Post adds, “Coal state senators from both parties are trying to derail the Obama administration's new emissions regulations for coal-fired power plants.

“Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) introduced a measure on Tuesday that would prevent emissions limits for existing power plants from taking effect, while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) introduced another measure to block the limits for new power plants. . . .

“The plan, Heitkamp said in a floor speech Tuesday, ‘threatens the supply of abundant, affordable, and reliable electricity’ in her state and across the country.

There's a war on coal in America,’ said McConnell, ‘and the leader is the president of the United States.’ . . . The majority leader, who has also been working to convince world leaders that the U.S. is not serious about committing to an international climate agreement, also downplayed the importance of cutting emissions in the U.S. Doing so, he said, would have ‘as much impact as dropping a pebble in the ocean, and yet we're paying a real price for it here at home.’”

And The Washington Examiner notes, “The Senate resolution follows 26 states suing the Environmental Protection agency over the rules in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, calling the power plan an unconstitutional ‘power grab’ and an affront to states' rights.

“‘Our bipartisan legislation enables senators to express their frustration with the rule,’ Heitkamp said. ‘We need workable solutions for North Dakota utilities, as well as for a viable path forward for coal – which provides almost 80 percent of North Dakota's electricity — to guarantee our state's families and small businesses have affordable and reliable power.’ . . .

“On Friday, she decried the agency for making it tougher for her state to comply in the finalized Clean Power Plan, compared with the original proposal. And that was after Heitkamp had arranged negotiations between North Dakota utilities and the EPA to figure out how stringent the targets should be for her state.

“The ‘final rule requires emissions reductions four times higher for North Dakota than were required by the proposed rule, even after my state's utilities spent considerable time and resources working in good faith with the EPA on a viable goal,’ Heitkamp said Friday. Her state, meanwhile, joined with others in suing the agency.

“Tennessee Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander, who is cosponsoring the resolution, said the climate rules undermine his state, which is one of the few building new nuclear power plants. Instead, he argues that the power plan unjustifiably favors wind and solar over more reliable forms of low-emission technologies, such as nuclear and hydro-electric power.

“‘Picking and choosing winners in the marketplace and prioritizing an unreliable source of electricity such as wind makes little sense and is the energy equivalent of going to war in sailboats when a nuclear Navy is available,’ Alexander said.”

Leader McConnell said in the Senate yesterday, “These regulations will ship more Middle-Class jobs overseas. They will punish the poor. They will make it even harder for coal families in states like Kentucky to put food on the table. And for what? They won’t make a noticeable difference to the environment of our planet. They won’t do a thing to meaningfully affect global carbon levels.

“It seems some just want to be able to pat themselves on the back for ‘doing something,’ even if they’ve accomplished hardly anything at all — except hurt those who struggle to make it. . . . Senators in both parties are saying it’s time to take off the ideological blinders. Senators in both parties are saying it’s time to instead think about those who’ve already suffered enough the past few years. We’ve worked together to file bipartisan measures that would overturn the Administration’s two-pronged regulations.”

Tags: House, Senate, Impeachment, IRS Commissioner, Rand Paul, filibuster, Debt Ceiling Bill, Senators, Challenge, EPA Carbon Rules To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 12:15 PM - Post Link


Anonymous Dersh said...

Go Rand! America is behind you!


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